View Full Version : Anchored Sailboat WIP

Strawberry Wine
01-16-2008, 06:47 PM
Hi Everyone,,,

I am taking a break from winter scenes and barns and stepping out of my comfort zone, a little..

I have been promising my brother a painting for a while now... and he has just about finished rennovating an old cottage and has turned it into a small but very modern home.. He will be moving into it very soon and selling or renting his present one... So this could be his house warming gift.
He was an avid sailor and his first sailboat was a 20 ' Matilda. It was quite a little tub and by no means a racer but solid and extremely stable when Lake Simcoe decided to throw a fit on a perfect summer's day

The dimensions of the boat ( for those interested in this kind of thing) was 20' in length, 7' 10" beam with a retractable keel with a 9" draft.

Here is my sketch with masking on the boat... I have upped the saturation levels so you can see it better.. I have lightly sketched in the horizon line and the water and tree line in the background.

Paper is Saunders Waterford 200 lb. CP and the size is 16 x 14

Feedback on the perspective of the boat and the placement of the tree line... I am wondering if it should be closer to the boat? but that could present a problem with the boom cover. It will be a cream cover so having it infront of the tree foliage may be OK.. And anything else you want to provide feedback on would be appreciated.




01-16-2008, 09:33 PM
Hey, Gail, I'm not a boat person, so nothing is glaring out at me. I do have
one comment though and it's that your horzion line looks to be splitting
your painting into near perfect halves. You may want to adjust up or down
depending on what direction you're planning on going with this. Otherwise,
looking forward to the completion!

~ Emme

01-16-2008, 11:00 PM
Hey there!!! I was just browsing around and what to my surprise but there's a boat before my eyes!!! Not a barn... not a tree... no hills or mountains... a boat! :)

Actually... your drawing does look good... the horizon IS almost midway...

01-17-2008, 05:34 AM
Hi Gail,
To a non-sailer (which means I don't know nuffin bout boats), your drawing looks very good.

If you move your horizon line, be careful about creating a tangent with the boom cover top or bottom. Also, check to see if the horizon line is straight, it looks slanted to me. ;)

Looking forward to seeing your progress with this painting, Gail. I think it will be a wonderful housewarming gift to your brother.


01-17-2008, 09:57 AM
Gail, what a nice gift this will make for your brother's new place! I think your drawing is great. The horizon like just needs to be moved a bit lower. Am anxious to see how this one comes together!

Strawberry Wine
01-17-2008, 10:10 AM
Good Morning Everyone !

Thanks for your feedback...

My tentative horizon line is about an inch below middle..

I want to indicate that the boat is moored for the night and most likely would be on the lee side of the land mass and not too far from shore..

I will play with it a bit in photo shop later today and see what kind of options I can come up with




EDIT: Char :lol: :lol: :lol:

Brian Barnes
01-17-2008, 04:25 PM
Looking good to me. :)

Remember that the shore/horizon line height governs 2 things: the viewing height and the distance between shore and boat.

The illusion of shore distance can also be controlled by details and size of shore objects relative to the boat (trees, rocks, cottages).

This diagram might help.


If your eyes are at "a" the shore line would cross the mast high up but note the viewing angle (looking down on the boat) would not fit your drawing. The closer you pull the boat to the shoreline the lower down the line will have to cross the mast even though the viewing height "f" is the same as "a".

My assessment is that your boat drawing shows the viewer at "d" or "i" so your horizon line is too high. See diagram for where it should cross the mast. Also keep in mind the larger you paint the objects on shore the closer to shore the boat will appear.

Confused yet? :D


Strawberry Wine
01-17-2008, 04:33 PM
Thanks Brian

:confused: me, ah,... well... maybe a little !!! :D

I have printed it out and will study the perspective.. Dan will help !!!:heart:

Seriously Brian, this helps immensely



rue d'oak
01-17-2008, 04:37 PM
whew, pretty technical Brian. :lol: Thanks for sharing this, not just with Gail for this painting, but the rest of us. Never have stopped to think about it...

but just my sense says the horizon needs to come down. Yet I also see the caution Sylvia offers about conflict.

Sweet boat...so are you saying something nasty happened to this little vessel?


01-17-2008, 04:44 PM
Just one Brian after another...
I'm a "i" level person......with the top of the b/g being about up to "c"....
Have fun....

Brian Barnes
01-17-2008, 05:07 PM
Not exactly sure what Seedy meant .... but I continue the debate with this ..... :D Too bad I can't go wider with the image.


I think "c" (the present shore line in drawing) would put the shore too far away (at distant horizon). If Gail wants boat anchored close to shore, "d" would be more correct IMO. ;)


01-17-2008, 05:13 PM
Nice Brian. I actually understand it too.

Gail - I think that your background is about the right size for where you have it but it does make the boat look as if it is a ways from shore. I think that if you lower the horizon you will have to make the trees bigger too because they will be closer based on the angles as described by Brian.

The horizon looks to be well below half way to me so if it was mine I would leave it as is. Just my opinion though.

You have a great start and I am looking forward to seeing where this takes you.

01-17-2008, 05:14 PM
Wow, this all is flying over my head, but it sounds like it makes a lot of sense. :confused:

What would you think of adding a curve to the shoreline on the right side? It would definitely show that the boat was moored closer in to the land and also soften the straightness of the horizon line a little. Try it out on one of your printouts and see what you think.


01-17-2008, 06:02 PM
I meant "l".....basically because it runs into the hull of the boat and out half way up the cabin.....which I think would allow some playing with the light values on the boat....but then again, it is too complicated....
Just do it,Gail, then we'll all be at odds as to where the horizon line goes....;-)

Strawberry Wine
01-17-2008, 06:12 PM
Here are two very rough manips on the horizon and water line..

Feedback would be much appreciated. I can also do another one somewhere in between :)

Horizon Line One


and horizon line two




Brian Barnes
01-17-2008, 06:57 PM
Second one works best I think. :thumbsup: Nice PS work too.


01-17-2008, 09:00 PM
I agree with Brian but what do you think? :D

Strawberry Wine
01-17-2008, 09:51 PM
WOW !!!! Thanks for all your input.

I am also a little mind boggled but am starting to grasp the perspective angles.

Jen, No, swamped ending to this fine boat. My brother just moved up to a larger sailboat and did sell this one a couple of years back. He now has a 5th wheel trailer and a Zodiak for running about Lake Couchiching fishing.

Brian S, do you mean, that the top of the tree level should be somewhere around "C" ?

Sylvia, good point ! Maybe another manio is in order in the morning.

Brian B. Thanks! The PS manip was fun to do... Wish I knew how to do more because I know the program is capable of so much.. Have you considered doing a monthy classroom on this kind of thing?????

John, thanks for your input. I was leaning towards the second one as well.

Any further discussions and input is most welcome.. I agree with Jen, that we all are learning from my questions.



01-18-2008, 10:30 AM
:wave: Hi! Gail, Interesting read, and discussion. both manips create different visual interest, the 2 featuring th boat more. This really helps to see the immediate effects of the linear discussion. Regards, Marianne

01-18-2008, 10:50 AM
Brian B. Thanks! The PS manip was fun to do... Wish I knew how to do more because I know the program is capable of so much.. Have you considered doing a monthy classroom on this kind of thing?????

:clap: Great suggestion. Maybe when you are finished your True Love WIP that you are doing at this time. We haven't had a monthly class in a while and I'm sure a lot of people would love to learn to use their photo manipulation programs better.


01-18-2008, 11:21 AM
I would imagine that the top could be anywhere......lower would indicate further.....and, as you have shown in manip 2 ....higher means closer.....
So many ways to go about this....and lots to add to your ever growing skills.

Brian Barnes
01-18-2008, 01:01 PM
Ahaa! Now I see what Seedy is referring to ......... the top of the land mass (skyline) .... not the shoreline.

Here on the West Coast and even here in the Okanagan, if you anchored near the shore the skyline would be nowhere in sight (well off the top of the painting). If the skyline showed, you'd be using an awfully long anchor chain. ;)


01-18-2008, 01:01 PM
Wow, this is so interesting! I'm going to have to read this again...veeerrry slowly! LOL


01-18-2008, 01:24 PM
I prefer the second one also. As a sailor myself, has the rudder and tiller been removed - when anchored? Normally there would be one.

It will be a nice painting when complete.

Watercolour lover
01-18-2008, 02:28 PM

I rarely do boat scenes either and in both cases worked from my own photographs. I'm inclined to prefer the lower horizon line. As to the explicit diagrams: math never was my strong point but it seems to me your viewpoint is from the same level as the water the boat is moored on?

In these examples I did many years ago, I have more detail in the foreground as the format is vertical. The horizon line is on the same plane as I am.


In another version of the same scene in a horizontal format, the horizon line would have been slightly lower as i was standing on the dock. Cutting a picture exactly in half sometimes works. It all depends on the centre of interest, although in this case I wish I had shown more horizon line on the RH side.


With all this super advice, all you have to do is paint!

Good luck,


www.watercoloursforfun.com (http://www.watercoloursforfun.com)

Brian Barnes
01-18-2008, 03:52 PM
I love this thread! :)

John -- Your paintings are superb! :thumbsup: And ....they really illustrate well that the higher up the shoreline crosses the boat the further the shoreline is from the boat.

I did this before seeing your paintings ......... but here is some more. I looked through my pics for boats anchored close to shore. This one's a bit fuzzy but illustrates the principles nicely IMO.


If there were no land in sight of course the horizon would be at camera level.
The distance between the boat's waterline and the shoreline gives the eye major clues regarding the distance to shore. C is obviously closest and B is not quite as close. A is a much larger distance out relatively speaking.


Brian Barnes
01-18-2008, 05:57 PM
.......... then of course what we all fear when re-arranging a photo or planning a painting ... :eek:


.......... we don't know what to believe other than what experience tells us. :confused:

According to the above principles, the far left and right boats are the same distance from shore. So either something is wrong with the manip. or someone's playing with a toy boat. :lol:


Brian Barnes
01-18-2008, 07:50 PM
OK ....... I'm just having fun now. :D

Another approach. Same BG. Shoreline indicated in yellow. Same boat.


I'm sure everyone looking at this can say which one is closest to shore ...... and yet every one of them is identical and in the same plane as your computer screen.
All I did was move the boat down the screen.

The only "correct" one would be the one with the right viewing angle for the boat (hard to tell when so blurry in this case) so these could all be visually correct ............ unless other objects (trees etc.) provide clues.


Strawberry Wine
01-18-2008, 08:27 PM
Hi Everyone,

I have not started painting this yet as I am still playing with the options... Tomorrow I hope to start.

Dave, you are right about the rudder and tiller... I have been googling photos for the correct placement.. It has been so many years since I sailed I can't remember what it looked like on the outside of a day or weekend sailer.

Brian B, I am enjoying all your photos and focusing on perspective... Keep having fun as we are all learning from your photos and tutorials.

John, beautiful paintings and thanks for your input.. With all this planning I am afraid to put paint to paper. :eek:

BBL and hopefully my next post will have some sky and trees in it.



Brian Barnes
01-18-2008, 09:16 PM
OK Gail ........... you can have your thread back now.

I'm done playing. :D


Looking forward to seeing how your painting progresses. ;)


01-18-2008, 09:39 PM
:lol: It was a nice hijack Brian but I know that Gail has a sense of humour and we all learned a lot so don't feel bad unless of course you are upset because all this has kept you from your love affair.:p

Strawberry Wine
01-18-2008, 10:14 PM
Hey Brian, maybe I don't want it back .. YET ! "You can "hijack :) " any threads of mine anytime.... You have taught me a lot....

Mentor point from me coming right up!!!!

Feel free to jump in anytime if I am heading too far away from where you think I should be going.



01-18-2008, 10:23 PM
Ya Gail, you want it back. Your number two with a rudder and tiller. Your background will set off the sail cover and mast and stays quite nicely. It is your plan and I think that we all agree so go for it. :D I enjoyed Brians instruction but I am looking forward to seeing where you go with this. You have a great start.:thumbsup:

Strawberry Wine
01-19-2008, 06:21 PM
Hi Everyone!!!

I put paint to paper on this today... The background trees gave me fits. I had no idea on how to paint all that green foliage . It probably will have to go darker as it gets closer to the shore line but I wanted to put the boat in first.. First washes on the boat and the boom cover are in place . I also need to tidy up some edges that the masking fluid did not cover completely.

Here is where I am at.... All comments and critiques and suggestions welcome as always.


Brian Barnes
01-19-2008, 06:31 PM
Your trees are gorgeous! :thumbsup: What paints did you use?


01-19-2008, 06:46 PM
Love those trees Gail!

Strawberry Wine
01-19-2008, 08:23 PM
Thanks Brian and Patty...

MGraham, Azo Yellow mixed with a smidge of either Da Vinci Gamboge or Indian Yellow depending where I was working. Mixes of blues and yellows using Da Vinci... and straight from the tube M Graham Hookers.

I mostly used sea sponges either wet on wet or wet on dry.



01-19-2008, 08:55 PM
All that perspective talk was clouding my brain... or crowding my brain, I'm not sure which... :lol:

Gail, those trees are GORGEOUS!!! For someone not knowing what to do, you sure did it right!! :clap:

01-19-2008, 09:43 PM
The land perspective and boat look perfect. The trees are wonderful.

You are off to a great start.


Dale Ziegler
01-19-2008, 10:27 PM
Gail, in your piece, the horizon is so faint and of little importance, I wouldn't worry about it.

01-19-2008, 10:47 PM
Gail, everything so far is awsome. I love the trees.

01-20-2008, 12:10 AM

01-20-2008, 12:56 PM
Gail, It's looking great! Don't forget the rudder and tiller.

I haven't tried painting foilage with a sponge - I'll have to give it a try.
When using a brush I find it is either to wet or to dry...


01-20-2008, 01:42 PM
:wave: HI! Gail,:thumbsup: Looking gooood. Regards, Marianne

Strawberry Wine
01-20-2008, 05:33 PM
Thanks for your all positive comments on the trees.

Here is where I got to, today.. I am having trouble getting the bow correct... and I can't figure out how to make it right... yet ! sigh....

Can anyone help ???

Here is the rudder in place Dave. :)

B T W The stern end is a pencil mark, trying to get the angle right.




01-20-2008, 06:02 PM
Hi Gail
When I look at your previous photo, it looks like the bow is narrower than what you have here. Could you bring the hull (? about boat terms) colour up a little farther?


Brian Barnes
01-20-2008, 06:11 PM
Could be that you lost line detail when you applied the paint. If you superimpose your sketch over the boat, this is what you get ....


Don't know if that helps but .... for what it's worth .... :)

BTW this is looking terrific so far! :thumbsup: I for one don't notice any accuracy problems with the bow because I'm not familiar with that boat.


01-20-2008, 10:18 PM
Looks good to me .. looking forward to the finish. :)

01-20-2008, 11:35 PM
Hi Gail, I am late to the party. ;)

I am glad you lowered the horizon line the boom cover has impact against the trees. Straight the bottom of the boom, it doesn't read quite right with that curve in it.

The mast looks a little short for the size of the yacht., and it should taper a little more.

Lift the top line of the hull and it will correct the bow line. See that red line in Brian's manip?

I would have wet the paper and glazed the colours in for the yacht myself.

All in all your painting is coming along really well g/f :)


01-21-2008, 03:42 AM
I think the hull is OK....its the hatch that's opening too much to the left....the hinge of the hatch should be parallel to the window....
I can send a sketch tomorrow, if you need one. Its the middle of the night and the scanner makes a racket...;-)

01-21-2008, 08:52 AM
Looking good, now with a rudder. The boom is great, the sail cover is sagging which is quite natural, however I have to agree that the mast is a little thick, should taper a little towards the top.


01-21-2008, 09:12 AM
It's looking good Gail. I agree with seedy and Dave that if you correct the alignment of the hatch the bow will look good. Brian actually showed that twist in his overlay. Narrowing the mast will make it look better but it is no big deal because it seems to me that they had a rather thick mast. Keep going because I think that you are going to be very happy with this one when you are done.

01-21-2008, 10:58 AM
:wave: HI! Gail, Good to see that overlay and compare, I'm for the tweaking of the boom cover, the bow edge and the hatch cover, the taper on the mast
against the trees and blue sky might be problematic and the exaggeration may work. Sometimes we don't see these things until the color is in, still looking good and I like the compostitional elements you settled on. Regards, Marianne

Strawberry Wine
01-21-2008, 06:29 PM
HI All!!!

Thanks so much for providing so much help with this painting. :thumbsup:

Brian, thanks for the overlap that helped a lot.

Brian, I can see what you mean about the hatch,, I have corrected it.

JJ, Height wise, my mast is a little taller than it should be for the Matilda... but I will try and taper it somewhat..

Dave, thanks for your input on the boom cover.

John, Jim, Patty and Marianne, thanks for stopping in and providing me with encouragement..

I have made some of the corrections you all mentioned and the "Guinevere" is starting to look like she should.. which is what the name of my brother's boat was... He bought her from a friend's father who had moved up to a bigger boat... He didn't know how to pronounce the name on the boat and thought it was Jenny varey :lol:

Still working on the water and reflections.

Day 3


Further critiques and suggestions are always welcome.



01-21-2008, 08:20 PM
:wave: Hi! Gail, Guinevere is looking good, like the additions of the birds, rock and horizon and the little touches at anchorage, you are so good to share your WIP with all of us, I've learned quite a few new things, Thanks you. :) Regards, Marianne

01-22-2008, 02:03 AM
I think your brother is going to really love this painting!!!!


01-22-2008, 05:50 AM
Really coming together now, Gail. All the little touches add a lot to the overall painting of Jenny Verey ;) .


01-22-2008, 08:38 AM
This is awsome Gail. A very close friend of mine had a Matilda only with a blue hull. He too moved on to bigger and better but we had a lot of fun in that little boat.

If it were mine I wouldn't touch it any more. The mast looks fine and I love the reflections. The rock and shore are fantastic and it has great depth. What is to change? Great job. Your brother will love it.

01-22-2008, 10:58 AM
I agree with John, Gail... I think you're finished... the gulls are perfect and add such life to this... it's all good... :)

Strawberry Wine
01-22-2008, 11:16 AM
Thank you John and Char...

Moving this to the gallery..